World Youth 3,000m champion Rosefline Chepng’etich beat a classy field in a thrilling 6km junior women’s race at Uhuru Gardens.
Little known Dominic Kiptarus, a younger brother of Olympic 800m runner Antony Chemut, stunned the quality men’s 8km line-up.
Chepng’etich, a Form Two Student at Winners Girls High in Keringet, atoned for her loss at the 2013 IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, where she finished ninth.
Chepng’etich threw down the gauntlet and newcomer Winnie Koima picked it up in a sunny morning of high adrenaline action, where more than 5,000 fans, among them KCB board of directors, IAAF Director of Competitions Paul Hardy and AK national officials, watched.
The leading pack, which had Chepng’etich, Koima, world 3,000m junior champion Daisy Chepkemei, remained unchallenged until after the three-kilometre mark when Chepng’etich started gaining ground, taking up the place Koima occupied.
At the final lap, Chepng’etich kept hidden in the shadow of Chepkemei and Koima but, as the race progressed, she surged forward in the lead eating up the distance as if the race had just started.
With 500m left, she was in wonderland with a 150-gap strolling to victory in 19:5.5. Koima (20:04.1), Chepkemei (20:07.1) and Winfred Mbithe (20:09.4) followed. Joyceline Cherotich (20:15.11) and Gladys Koech (20:16.11) followed.
World Youth 2,000m steeplechase champion, Lilian Kasait (20:32.8), finished, but her experience saw her included in the team.
Rosefline Chepng’etich said: “I want to do well, not the way I lost in World Junior Championships”
It was sweet victory for Domnic Kiptarus, who started to train in athletics after his elder brother, Antony Chemut competed at the London Olympic Games in 2012.
By JONATHAN KOMEN, The Standard
Courtesy of in2eastafrica.net